Open source, stand alone, ASCII terminal project

Ethan Dicks ethan.dicks at
Wed Dec 3 17:28:53 CST 2008

On Thu, Dec 4, 2008 at 11:36 AM, Jim Brain <brain at> wrote:
> John Floren wrote:
>> It was extremely easy for me to solder dozens of SMT boards on day one
>> at one of my jobs, even though I had never done SMT before...
> I'll add my support for this statement.  The combination of a good soldering
> station, liquid flux, and small solder is the difference between night and
> day....
>> The decision to do SMT depends on your intended consumers. Will they
>> have a good station and a bottle of flux? If so, do it because SMT is
>> great. If not, SMT is probably pretty evil.

I have done plenty of work with 1206 and 805-sized parts and a few
0.5mm-pitch QFPs (IOB6120, among other projects).  I myself don't mind
SMT, but I know that some kit builders shy away from it either because
of lack of proper tools, lack of experience, or vision issues.  I
understand Bob's desire to stay with as much through-hole as possible,
but it won't be long before that just isn't practical due what parts
are out there.

> I'd also say that if there are some unavoidable SMT parts (newer uCs with
> larger footprints are only available in SMT), then you should consider
> making the project SMT (the end user will need to buckle down and get SMT
> equipment to solder up part of it, why not take advantage of SMT across the
> design?  Some developers will sell a board with just the main SMT
> uC/CPLD/FPGA/etc. soldered, and the rest is through hole, which I suppose is
> an OK compromise.

I've seen those sorts of mixed projects, but never assembled one.

> Of course, if the design is not a kit, then I vote SMT all the way.


My personal preferences is for kits, SMT or no, but in large part
that's because I have a large amount of resources to keep my costs
down (I usually buy just a bare PCB or a bare PCB and a core set of
difficult-to-find parts like CPU/MPUs if that's handy).  I realize
that I'm not representative of the majority of kit builders, but I'm
happy when it's possible to just get the board.  I also enjoy
assembling them, something my friends have equated with buiding ships
in bottles.

> SMT makes things like this possible:
> An entire CBM IEC compatible drive in 1.5" by 1.5" :-)
> Boards came today and parts should be here tonight, I hope.

Very nice!  I think I should see about getting one of those.


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